BOSTON – Partners HealthCare is among four of the state’s leading health care providers that today endorsed Question 4 on the November ballot, which would ensure earned sick time for hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts families. Joining Partners in offering support are Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston Medical Center and Steward Health Care.
“Everyone should be able to see a doctor when they’re sick, but so many people in our state cannot earn a single hour of paid sick time to care for themselves or a loved one,” said Gary L. Gottlieb, MD, President and CEO of Partners HealthCare. “They deserve better, and Question 4 will help ensure this becomes a reality.”
“For many employed parents, taking time off to care for a sick child means losing income or, worse, risking their job,” said Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of General Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital. “By letting employees take time off to take their child to a doctor, Question 4 will support working families and keep our children healthy.”
“Massachusetts is the home of some of the most comprehensive, advanced medical care in the world. Unfortunately, many people in our state cannot access this care for themselves or a family member because they cannot afford to take time off from work,” said Kate Walsh, President and CEO of Boston Medical Center. “Question 4 will eliminate this barrier and give the people of Massachusetts the ability to get the medical care they need, when they need it.”
“This is the right thing to do for employees – as well as good public health policy,” said Justine Carr, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Steward Health Care. “In many cases, early medical interventions can significantly improve health outcomes. By providing paid sick time, employees will be able to seek medical care in a timely manner for common ailments, as well as more serious health conditions.”
Question 4 would guarantee every worker in Massachusetts access to the benefit of earned sick time. At companies with 10 or fewer employees, workers would earn up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time to visit the doctor or take care of a sick family member. At companies with 11 or more employees, workers would earn up to 40 hours of paid sick time.
“We’re excited to welcome Boston Children's Hospital, Partners HealthCare, Boston Medical Center, and Steward Health Care to the broad coalition of organizations supporting Question 4,” said Deb Fastino, co-chair of the Yes on Question 4 coalition. “Massachusetts hospitals are the best in the nation, and it’s time to make sure that all working people can afford to see their doctor when they need to.”